Christchurch vegan Ella Soryl (11) has challenged Professor Robert Pickard to prove his claims that her diet is lacking.
Ella, a life-long vegan who has never eaten animal products, won her school triathlon this year, and was a finalist in the Vegan Triathlon in 2005 and 2006. Ella has challenged Professor Pickard to compete with her in a one-on-one triathlon.
"If you're going to say silly things like 'children must eat animal products,' you have to be prepared to put your money where your mouth is," says Ella. "I challenge Professor Pickard to meet me on the sports field and run, swim and bike it out with me."
Professor Pickard, whose trip to New Zealand has been financed by the animal foods industry, has been unable to provide references as proof for his claims when asked by vegetarian organisations in the UK. His claims contradict the position of the New Zealand Dieticians association that a vegan diet is appropriate for all stages of the human life cycle.
"Pro meat 'experts' sponsored by animal industries are as credible as tobacco industry 'experts' who promote smoking," says New Zealand Vegetarian Society (Christchurch Centre) spokesperson Yolanda Soryl: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0609/S00236.htm.